Knights have chance at perfect regular season
HUNTINGTON -- If Cabell Midland can protect their home field Friday night against traditional rival Hurricane, the Knights will finish the football season 10-0.
Rated No. 1 in West Virginia Class AAA football since early in the season, Midland has had some close calls -- a 14-13 win over now No. 3 Huntington High at Huntington, and a comeback 21-13 win at Capital were both tough tests for the Knights.
But by and large, Midland has handled its competition this year with relative ease, and a business-like demeanor.
The team has a multitude of running backs with different styles that can attack any number of ways, and a defense that hasn't surrendered more than 19 points in a game
"We've won some games when we haven't played our best," head coach Luke Salmons said. "We've played a very tough schedule and our kids have done a good job of staying hungry."
The Knights are coming off a bye-week as they host the No. 9 Redskins (6-3) at 7:30 p.m., Friday, and only now is Salmons considering talk of a perfect season.
"Your goal as a coach is to win the next game, and get better every week. You don't say at the beginning of your season that the goal is to go 10-0," Salmons said. "The goal is to win each game, each week. When it's week 10, and you're 9-0, you want to be 10-0. You don't talk about it in week seven or week eight, but, week nine, you can push it a little bit."
Salmons also knows his team has to be focused on Friday, given that Hurricane is a rivalry game, and the Redskins have had a good season and are looking to improve their own playoff picture.
"Our team has to know that it would make Hurricane's year to come in here and beat us," Salmons said. "They're a well-coached team, and we know we're going to get their best effort.
"At the same time, it's exciting," he said. "But, we've got to do our job and make plays or they will beat us."
The Knights have already wrapped up the Mountain State Athletic Conference title, owning all the tie-breakers even if they lose Friday. Salmons was also named MSAC coach of the year.
Salmons deflected the attention, although he said the recognition was appreciated.
"It's all about the kids and what they put into it," Salmons said. "You're only as good as your kids and assistant coaches, and really the parents and your surrounding community. It's not about me."